A TIVYSIDE cheesemaker has welcomed the decision to award Traditional Welsh Caerphilly special status.

The only native cheese to Wales has been granted European Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) and now joins other great Welsh produce such as coracle-caught sewin, Carmarthen ham, Welsh Lamb and Pembrokeshire early potatoes to have protected status

Under the EU’s protected food name scheme, certain food and drink products receive Europe-wide legal protection against imitation, fraud and misuse.

The EU protected food name scheme covers regional and traditional foods whose authenticity and origin can be guaranteed. It recognises foods which are produced, processed and prepared in a specific region using recognised expertise.

The move is another boost to local business Caws Cenarth, where Gwynfor and Thelma Adams started making Traditional Welsh Caerphilly when milk quotas were introduced.

Caws Cenarth is the oldest established producer of Traditional Welsh Farmhouse Caerffili and more than thirty years on it is still made to the same original recipe and is named ‘Thelma’s Original’ in honour of Thelma.

Mr and Mrs Adams' son, Carwyn now runs the family business from their Carmarthenshire farm at Glyneithinog, near Boncath.

He said: "It’s all good publicity for the product and puts the cheese firmly on the map and gets the Europeans looking at it.

“It's a guarantee of its quality and authenticity and the skill and passion involved in its making”

With Britain set to leave the EU, it is not clear how the European protection scheme will operate in the future.

“I think some sort of programme similar to what we have in place will carry on,” said Carwyn. “It would not be too expensive to run and maybe the Welsh authorities or Westminster will support it.”

Mum Thelma added: “No-one really knows what will happen to these protected names but whatever happens, we have been making Caerffili for over 34 years so its stood the test of time and at the end of the day quality will always sell.”

Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones has said it is "hugely important" an equivalent system to the EU's Protected Food Name (PFN) was developed to maintain the protected status of Wales' most iconic food and drink products.

He said: "We need to have an equivalent status that operates across the whole of the UK and that is actually recognised by other markets such as the EU.

"It will require a mutual trade agreement where each side would recognise the other side's protections."